Sperry Design was recently engaged by Parks Canada to update the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Located in the heart of the city, the Halifax Citadel is one of the most prominent national historic sites in Canada. The VIC must be a “welcoming” place and a “doorway” to the services and programs offered at the Citadel, other nearby Halifax Defence Complexes, and other facilities and attractions.
Parks Canada envisioned a modern, high-quality and functional facility for staff and visitors. The VIC needed to be a comfortable and inviting setting designed for interaction, information, orientation and visitor flow through a fairly small space. The high-level redesign, along with Parks Canada’s quality of service, information, and guidance needed to allow visitors to explore and appreciate the Citadel at their own pace, based on their individual interests, and needs. We also ensured that the project met Parks Canada’s accessibility standards.
The redesign, provided by Sperry Design, for the VIC, offers an engaging and informative visitor experience, that helps provide a sense of place, and emotionally connect the visitor to the site.
We designed a new reception desk that was built by Atlantex Creative Works. Based on the semi-circular design of the canon positions on the top of Citadel Hill, the desk provides a sense welcome, and give Parks staff sufficient storage and easy working space. While the desk is clean and modern it fits perfectly within the historic space.
The new VIC graphics are consistent, modern, vibrant, informational, and immersive. They create a sense of place and anticipation for visitors. Wayfinding and map design is clean and consistent with the look and feel of the VIC.
New media and interactive displays designed by Sperry take centre stage and dramatically flank the new reception desk on both sides. Bilingual messages transition across many screens simultaneously. Rather than limit content to one screen, we deployed five, large format, 4K screens that essentially became one media canvas for us to deliver dynamic, flexible and updateable content. The screens deliver information on the various on-site tours and schedules as well as theatre showtimes in the adjacent theatre space. Promotional videos about Citadel Hill intermittently come to life on screen to break any monotony. All of the screens are driven by a single iPad, located behind the VIC reception desk.